Why ‘Nollywood’ Has to be Renamed to ‘Naiwood’


The controversies that trailed Nollywood’s 20-year-anniversary are still not over.

Some of the stakeholders have continued to question the name ‘Nollywood’ and the 20 years tag put as the life span of the now nose-diving industry.

The release of after a movie, Living In Bondage, on VHS, 20 years ago has changed the face of the Nigeria movie industry and gave it a big bang.

Many veterans, especially those in the Yoruba genre, have rejected the claim that the industry is only 20 years old when the likes of Hubert Ogunde, Ade Love, Baba Sala and others had been in the industry as far back in the 50s.

In this regard, a group of progressive members of the Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners (ANTP), led by Yomi Fabiyi, is seeking renaming of the industry to ‘Naiwood’.

The group claims that this name will truly represent all the stakeholders, and will be devoid of tribal dichotomy, which the group said the present ‘Nollywood’ encourages and represents.

In his message to Nigeriafilms, Yomi said:

“If the acronym for their movie industry means they started two decades ago, perhaps there was no one producing (movies) amongst them in the last 21 years.

“We inherited film making, we had legendary filmmakers in Nigeria before then. [We] can’t fold our arms and watch then sweep under the carpet [the effort of our veterans] with an acronym (Nollywood).

“That acronym NOLLYWOOD is not acceptable by us, if it represents 20 years. We’ve films shot in Nigeria 60, 50 and 40 years ago on celluloid (the biggest filming standard in the world before digital celluloid) irrespective of the quantity then.

“Home video is just another means of distributing films. In an unjust society where inequality, tribalism, sentiment is the order of the day, SILENCE IS A SIN.

“We wish to set the record straight, film making started in Nigeria 70 years ago.

“NAIJA (Nigeria) is a film, football and oil country. Nigerian movie industry – NAIWOOD, is the right name for the right naija film history.

“We the Progressives in ANTP of the movie industry, irrespective of tribe and religion, wish to be referred with that acronym henceforth, and we mean every word of it.